At church, we are currently looking at ‘Ephesus and the New Humanity: A call to reignite the church’s passion for Christ’ by Reg Piper.
I should also say to start that my knowledge of the Bible tells me that it doesn’t actually call us to read the Bible for ‘quiet times’, which is another way of describing ‘daily devotions’. But the Bible does call leaders to meditate (think) on the Law (which is in the Bible), daily (Joshua 1.8). And God’s will and perspective are written in the Bible, even through the stories, songs, visions and letters of people, so it’s helpful to reflect on them to get to know God.
I meditate on your precepts
and consider your ways.
I delight in your decrees;
I will not neglect your word.
And, of course, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3.16, 17). So it’s good to read it for that.
The other thing is that the Bible is clear that following festivals doesn’t affect your righteousness with God, following the season of Lent is not essential. In fact, it might be of more help to follow these devotions again another time, after you’ve had enough time to reflect and grow in your progress in following Jesus.
I am still yet to purchase a new Bible (I still intend it to be a CEV, EDIT: or the NCV, whichever I can find first), and print off the Bible Reading Plan. But I have kept up to date, having had read Genesis 1 – 11 today, which is pushing it a bit I guess, but that’s a freedom allowed by this Reading Plan. I have purchased and used my Prayer Journal, which is reflective of my prioritising. And being that I am in a hospital as I write this (to be present for a family member), I have had a lot of waiting time to really consider my words as I pray. I didn’t end up buying a Moleskine after finding a cheaper alternative in the form of a Piccadilly Notebook. It has the same quirks as a Moleskine, including a pocket inlay which most appealed to me for keeping small pieces of paper with prayer points on them.
So for today I’ve used one of the NIV Study Bibles I was given in high school for Biblical Studies. Study Bibles are great for their introductory notes and commentary below the text. Although it can be distracting, I found it interesting to read that bereshith, which means “In the beginning,” was the original title of Genesis. And ‘Genesis’, being the Greek for ‘birth’, ‘genealogy’ or ‘history of origin’ was given by the writers of the Septuagint.
At some undetermined time on this day I would officially have lived twenty-four years. That means in another year’s time, I will be twenty-five. Twenty-five. Venticinque. 二十五. 25. The age for J.K. Rowling when she road on a train from Manchester to London and ‘Harry’ just “fell into her head”. The age for Mark Driscoll when he had found Mars Hill Church in his apartment with his wife, Grace, and thirty students. And the age, I hope, that I will discover God’s will for my life.